Investee Company – Yell
Investee Company Business Type – International directories business
Type of Financing – Management Buyout
Equity Providers – Apax Partners and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst
Equity Leader (Individual) – Stephen Green of Apax Partners, Lyndon Lea of Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst
Debt Providers – Merrill Lynch and CIBC
Debt Type – £950 million senior debt, £100 million working capital, £500 million bridge loan
Debt Leader (Individual) – John Stanier of Merrill Lynch, Johnathan Roland of CIBC
Equity Amount – £550 million
Total Deal Value – £2.14 billion
Other Advisors – Clifford Chance, Merrill Lynch, Allen & Overy
Comments – British Telecommunications plc has sold Yell, a leading provider of classified directories and associated print, telephone- and Internet-based media products including Yellow pages, to a consortium of private equity firms jointly lead by Apax Partners and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst in a £2.14 billion transaction.
The equity, totalling £550 million, is being provided by Apax Partners and Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst with £1.55 billion of debt; £950million senior debt, a £100 million working capital facility and a £500 million bridge loan which will be refinanced in the bond market, underwritten by Merrill Lynch and CIBC.
The deal is the largest European leveraged buyout involving a complete acquisition of a company and is also Europe’s largest leveraged loan and bond package.
Stephen Grabiner Apax Partners Director, who leads Apax Partners media team, said: “Few businesses are as strong as Yell. It comprises one of the strongest brands in British media as well as one of the fastest-growing directory businesses in the world, in Yellow Book. We are delighted to back this impressive management team to continue to develop their business on both sides of the Atlantic, organically and via acquisition”.